By Meagan Gosa
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Some of Tennessee State University’s top students were recently on Capitol Hill to learn about the legislative process, and how policies and laws are passed.
The 38 students were part of Leadership TSU, one of the university’s top-tier leadership programs that exposes students to theoretical and practical lessons through firsthand experiences. The students range from freshmen to seniors and go through a competitive selection process.
The students’ visit to the state Capitol on Feb. 18 was for Policy Day. They participated in a mock legislative session and debated bills on gun issues, criminal justice, and proposals impacting insurance companies.
TSU student Nykole Clark said she enjoyed her visit to the Capitol, and just being part of Leadership TSU in general.
“As a retired Veteran, it’s an honor to be a member of Leadership TSU,” said Clark, a senior business administration major from Clarksville, Tennessee. “This signifies to me that my leadership extends beyond the military. I hope to be challenged in another light beyond what the military has done.”
Freshman Synia Malbrough of Alpharetta, Georgia, said Leadership TSU gives her something to look forward to during her matriculation at the university.
“I’m ready to gain and learn knowledge from various leaders,” said Malbrough, a graphic design major. “I hope to come out of Leadership TSU a better and stronger version of myself, and a greater leader than before.”
Frank Stevenson, dean of students and associate vice president for student affairs at TSU, said students in the program have exceeded his expectations.
“The idea for students to be challenged to think outside the box was part of this policy experience,” he said of their participation in Policy Day. “I’m so proud of the way our students took advantage of this learning opportunity.”
Added Dr. Napoleon Harris, who assisted Stevenson in coordinating the Capitol visit, “As an alumnus of TSU who learned political activism, engagement, and processes in my sojourn as a student here, this experience meant the world to me. Seeing our students discussing policies and dialoguing with legislators is a sight that will indefinitely be etched into my memory.”
Among the lawmakers interacting with students during their visit were State Sen. Brenda Gilmore and Rep. Harold Love, Jr., both TSU alums.
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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.